Linux Virtual Server Tutorial

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1 Linux Virtual Server Tutorial Horms (Simon Horman) VA Linux Systems Japan, K.K. with assistance from NTT Comware Corporation July Revised March Abstract The Linux Virtual Server Project (LVS) allows load balancing of networked services such as web and mail servers using Layer 4 Switching. It is extremely fast and allows such services to be scaled to service 10s or 100s of thousands of simultaneous connections. The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to use various features of LVS to load balance Internet services, and how this can be made highly available using tools such as such as heartbeat and keepalived. It will also cover more advanced topics which have been the subject of recent development including maintaining active connections in a highly available environment and using active feedback to better distribute load. Introduction The Linux Virtual Server Project (LVS) implements layer 4 switching in the Linux Kernel. This allows TCP and UDP sessions to to be load balanced between multiple real servers. Thus it provides a way to scale Internet services beyond a single host. HTTP and HTTPS traffic for the World Wide Web is probably the most common use. Though it can also be used for more or less any service, from to the X Windows System. LVS itself runs on Linux, however it is able to load balance connections from end users running any operating system to real servers running any operating system. As long as the connections use TCP or UDP, LVS can be used. LVS is very high performance. It is able to handle upwards of 100,000 simultaneous connections. It is easily able to load balance a saturated 100Mbit ethernet link using inexpensive commodity hardware. It is also able to load balance saturated 1Gbit link and beyond using higher-end commodity hardware.

2 1 LVS Basics This section will cover the basics of how LVS works. How to obtain and install LVS, and how to configure for its main modes of operation. In short it will cover how to set up LVS to load balance TCP and UDP services. Terminology Linux Director: Host with Linux and LVS installed which receives packets from end users and forwards them to real servers. End User: Host that originates a connection. Real Server: Host that terminates a connection. This will be running some sort of daemon such as Apache. A single host may be act in more than one of the above roles at the same time. Virtual IP Address (VIP): The IP address assigned to a service that a Linux Director will handle. Real IP Address (RIP): The IP address of a Real Server. Layer 4 Switching Figure 1: LVS NAT Layer 4 Switching works by multiplexing incoming TCP/IP connections and UDP/IP datagrams to real servers. Packets are received by a Linux Director and a decision is made as to which real server to foward the packet to. Once this decision is made subsequent packets to for the same connection will be sent to the same real server. Thus, the integrity of the connection is maintained. 2

3 Forwarding Packets The Linux Virtual Server has three different ways of forwarding packets; network address translation (NAT), IP-IP encapsulation (tunnelling) and direct routing. Network Address Translation (NAT): A method of manipulating the source and/or destination port and/or address of a packet. The most common use of this is IP masquerading which is often used to enable RFC 1918[2] private networks to access the Internet. In the context of layer 4 switching, packets are received from end users and the destination port and IP address are changed to that of the chosen real server. Return packets pass through the linux director at which time the mapping is undone so the end user sees replies from the expected source. Direct Routing: Packets from end users are forwarded directly to the real server. The IP packet is not modified, so the real servers must be configured to accept traffic for the virtual server s IP address. This can be done using a dummy interface or packet filtering to redirect traffic addressed to the virtual server s IP address to a local port. The real server may send replies directly back to the end user. Thus, the linux director does not need to be in the return path. IP-IP Encapsulation (Tunnelling): Allows packets addressed to an IP address to be redirected to another address, possibly on a different network. In the context of layer 4 switching the behaviour is very similar to that of direct routing, except that when packets are forwarded they are encapsulated in an IP packet, rather than just manipulating the ethernet frame. The main advantage of using tunnelling is that real servers can be on a different networks Internet Linux Director End User Packet Real Servers Figure 2: LVS Direct Routing Virtual Services On the Linux Director a virtual service is defined by either an IP address, port and protocol, or a firewall-mark. A virtual service may optionally have a persistance timeout associated with it. If this is set and a connection is received from the same IP address before the timeout has expired, then the connection will be forwarded to the same real server as the original connection. 3

4 IP Address, Port and Protocol: A virtual server may be specified by: An IP Address: The IP address that end users will use to access the service. A port: The port that end users will connect to. A protocol. Either UDP or TCP. Firewall-Mark: Packets may be marked with a 32-bit unsigned value using ipchains or iptables. The Linux Virtual Server is able to use use this mark to designate packets destined for a virtual service and route them accordingly. This is particularly useful if a large number of contiguous IP based virtual services are required with the same real servers. Or to group persistence between different ports. For instance to ensure that a given end user is sent to the same real server for both HTTP and HTTPS. Scheduling The virtual service is assigned a scheduling algorithm that is used to allocate incoming connections to the real servers. In LVS the schedulers are implemented as separate kernel modules. Thus new schedulers can be implemented without modifying the core LVS code. There are many different scheduling algorithms available to suit a variety of needs. The simplest are round robin and least connected. These work using a simple strategy of allocating connections to each real server in turn and allocating connections to the real server with the least number of connections respectively. Weighted variants of these schedulers allow connections to be allocated proportional to the weighting of the real server, more powerful real servers can be set with a higher weight and thus, will be allocated more connections. More complex scheduling algorithms have been designed for specialised purposes. For instance to ensure that requests for the same IP address are sent to the same real server. This is useful when using LVS to load balance transparent proxies. Installing LVS Some distributions, such as SuSE ship with kernels that have LVS compiled in. In these cases installation should be as easy as installing the supplied ipvsadm package. At the time of writing Ultra Monkey provides packages built against Debian Sid (Unstable) and Woody (Stable/3.0) and Red Hat 7.3 and 8.0. Detailed information on how to obtain and install these packages can be found on The rest of this section will discuss how to install LVS from source as it is useful to understand how this process works. Early versions of LVS worked with Linux 2.2 series kernels. This implementation involved extensive patching of the Kernel sources. Thus, each version of LVS was closely tied to a version of the Kernel. The netfilter packet filtering architecture[4] which is part of the 2.4 kernels has allowed LVS to be implemented almost exclusively as a set of kernel modules. The result is that LVS is no longer tied closely to an individual kernel release. LVS may also be compiled directly into the kernel. However, this discussion will focus on using LVS as a module as this approach is easier and more flexible. 4

5 1. Obtain and Unpack Kernel It is always easiest to start with a fresh kernel. You can obtain this from This example will use the kernel. It can be unpacked using the following command which should unpack the kernel into the linux directory. tar -jxvf linux tar.bz2 2. Obtain and Unpack LVS LVS can be obtained from This example will use It can be unpacked using the following command which should pack the kernel into the ipvs directory. tar -zxvf ipvs tar.gz 3. Apply LVS Patches to Kernel Two minor kernel patches are required in order for the LVS modules to compile. To apply these patches use the following: cd linux / patch -pq <../ipvs-1.0.9/linuxkernel_ksyms_c.diff patch -pq <../ipvs-1.0.9/linuxnet_netsyms_c.diff A third patch is applied to allow interfaces to be hidden. Hidden interfaces do not respond to ARP requests and are used on real servers with LVS direct routing. patch -pq <../ipvs-1.0.9/contrib/patches/hidden pre10-1.diff 4. Configure the kernel First ensure that the tree is clean: make mrproper Now configure the kernel. There are a variety of ways of doing this including make menuconfig, make xconfig and make config. Regardless of the method that you use, be sure to compile in netfilter support, with at least the following options. It is suggested that where possible these options are built as modules. Networking options ---> Network packet filtering (replaces ipchains) <m> IP: tunnelling IP: Netfilter Configuration ---> <m> Connection tracking (required for masq/nat) <m> FTP protocol support <m> IP tables support (required for filtering/masq/nat) <m> Packet filtering <m> REJECT target support <m> Full NAT 5

6 <m> MASQUERADE target support <m> REDIRECT target support <m> NAT of local connections (READ HELP) (NEW) <m> Packet mangling <m> MARK target support <m> LOG target support 5. Build and Install the Kernel As the kernel has been reconfigured the build dependencies need to be reconstructed. make dep The kernel and modules may now be build using: make bzimage modules To install the newly built modules and kernel run the following command. This should install the modules under /lib/modules/2.4.20/and the kernel in/boot/vmlinuz make install modules_install 6. Update boot loader In the case of grub is used as the boot loader then a new entry should be added to /etc/grub.conf. This example assumes that the /boot partition is /dev/hda3. Existing entries in /etc/grub.conf should be used as a guide. title LVS root (hd0,0) kernel /vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hda3 If the boot loader is lilo then a new entry should be added to /etc/lilo.conf. This example assumes that the/ partition is/dev/hda2. Existing entries in/etc/lilo.conf should be used as a guide. image=/boot/vmlinuz label= lvs read-only root=/dev/hda2 Once /etc/lilo.conf has been updated run lilo. lilo Added Linux-LVS * Added Linux Added LinuxOLD 7. Reboot the system. At your boot loader s prompt be sure to boot the newly created kernel. 6

7 8. Build and Install LVS The commands to build LVS should be run from the ipvs-1.0.9/ipvs/ directory. To build and install use the following commands. /kernel/source/linux should be the root directory that the kernel was just built in. make KERNELSOURCE=/kernel/source/linux all make KERNELSOURCE=/kernel/source/linux modules_install 9. Build and Install Ipvsadm Ipvsadm is the user-space tool that is used to configure LVS. The source can be found in the ipvs-1.0.9/ipvs/ipvsadm/ directory. To build and install use the following commands. make all make install LVS NAT LVS NAT is arguably the simplest way to configure LVS. Packets from real servers are received by the linux director and the destination IP address is rewritten to be one of the real servers. The return packets from the real server have their source IP address changed from that of the real server to the VIP. Internet Linux Director / Server Network Real Server Virtual IP Address Real Server Figure 3: LVS NAT Example Linux Director Enable IP forwarding. This can be done by adding the following to /etc/sysctl.conf and then running sysctl -p. net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1 7

8 Bring up on eth0:0. This is best done as part of the networking configuration of your system. But it can also be done manually. ifconfig eth0: netmask broadcast Configure LVS ipvsadm -A -t :80 ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -m ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -m Real Servers Make sure return packets are routed through linux director. Typically this is done by setting the VIP on the server network the default gateway. Make sure that the desired daemon is listening on port 80 to handle connections from end-users. Testing and Debugging Testing can be done by connecting to :80 from outside the server network. Running a packet tracing tool on the linux directors and real servers is very useful for debugging purposes. Many setup problems can be resolved by tracing the path of a connection and observing at which step packets fail to appear. Using Tcpdump will be discussed here as an example, there are variety of tools available for various operating systems. The following trace shows a connection being opened by an end user to the VIP which is forwarded to the real server It shows packets being received by the linux director and then forwarded to the real server and vice versa. Note that the packets forwarded to the real server still have the end user s ip address as the source address. The linux director only changes the destination IP address of the packet. Similarly replies from the real servers have the destination address set to that of the end user. The linux director only rewrites the source IP address of reply packets so that it is the VIP. tcpdump -n -i any port 80 12:40: > : S : (0) win 5840 <mss 1460,sackOK,timestamp ,nop,wscale 0> 12:40: > : S : (0) win 5840 <mss 1460,sackOK,timestamp ,nop,wscale 0> 12:40: > : S : (0) ack win 5792 <mss 1460,sackOK,timestamp ,nop,wscale 0> (DF) 12:40: > : S : (0) ack win 5792 <mss 1460,sackOK,timestamp ,nop,wscale 0> (DF) 8

9 12:40: > :. ack 1 win 5840 <nop,nop,timestamp > 12:40: > :. ack 1 win 5840 <nop,nop,timestamp > ctrl-c ipvsadm -L -n can be used to show the number of active connections. ipvsadm -L -n IP Virtual Server version (size=4096) Prot LocalAddress:Port Scheduler Flags -> RemoteAddress:Port Forward Weight ActiveConn InActConn TCP :80 rr -> :80 Masq > :80 Masq ipvsadm -L --stats will show the number of packets and bytes sent and received per second. ipvsadm -L -n --stats IP Virtual Server version (size=4096) Prot LocalAddress:Port Conns InPkts OutPkts InBytes OutBytes -> RemoteAddress:Port TCP : > : > : ipvsadm -L --rate will show the total number of packets and bytes sent and received. ipvsadm -L -n --rate IP Virtual Server version (size=4096) Prot LocalAddress:Port CPS InPPS OutPPS InBPS OutBPS -> RemoteAddress:Port TCP : > : > : ipvsadm -L --zero will zero all the statistics counters. LVS Direct Routing LVS Direct Routing works by forwarding packets, unchanged, to the MAC addresses of real servers. As the packet is unmodified the real servers need to be configured to accept traffic addressed to the VIP. This is most commonly done by using a hidden interface. As the incoming packets are not modified by the linux director the return packets do not need to pass through the linux director. Thus, higher throughput can be obtained. It is also easier to load balance services for end users on the same local network as the return packets can be sent directly to the end user rather than forcing them to go through the linux director. 9

10 Figure 4: LVS Direct Routing Example Linux Director Enable IP forwarding. This can be done by adding the following to /etc/sysctl.conf and then running sysctl -p. net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1 Bring up on eth0:0. This is best done as part of the networking configuration of your system. But it can also be done manually. ifconfig eth0: netmask broadcast Configure LVS ipvsadm -A -t :80 ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -g ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -g The real servers can send reply packets directly to the end users without them needing to be altered by the linux director. Thus, the linux director does not need to be the gateway for the real servers. However, in some situations, for instance because the linux director really is the gateway to the real server s network, it is desirable to route return packets from the real servers via the linux director. The source address of these packets will be the VIP. However the VIP belongs to an interface on the linux director. Thus, it will drop the packets as being bogus. There are several approaches to this problem. Probably the best is to apply a kernel patch supplied by Julian Anastasov which add proc entries that allow this packet-dropping behaviour to be disabled on a per-interface basis. This patch can be obtained from ja/#lvsgw 10

11 Real Servers Make sure return packets are not routed through linux director unless you have patched the kernel as described above. Make sure that the desired daemon to handle connections from end-users is listening on port 80 Bring up on the loopback interface. This is best done as part of the networking configuration of your system. But it can also be done manually. On Linux this can be done using the following command. ifconfig lo: netmask Note that the netmask should be , regardless of the actual netmask of the network that belongs to. This is because on the loopback interface the all addresses covered by the netmask are bound to the interface. The typical case is with a netmask of which sets up the loopback interface to accept all of /8. Thus, as we only want lo:0 to accept packets for the netmask must be Hide loopback. On Linux real servers it is neccessary to hide the loopback interface to prevent them from responding to ARP requests for the VIP. This can be done by applying the hidden interface patch discussed in the Installing LVS section. To activate the patch, add the following lines to /etc/sysctl.conf and then run sysctl -p. # Enable configuration of hidden devices net.ipv4.conf.all.hidden = 1 # Make the loopback interface hidden net.ipv4.conf.lo.hidden = 1 Testing and Debugging Testing can be done by connecting to :80 from any network. Debugging can be done using ipvadm and packet tracing as per LVS NAT. However, note that when the packets are forwarded no address translation takes place. Also note that as the return packets are not handled by LVS they are sent directly to the end user by the real server the outgoing packet and byte statistics will be zero. LVS Tunnel LVS tunnelling works in a very similar manner to direct routing. The main difference is that packets are forwarded to the real servers using IP encapsulated in IP, rather than just sending a new ethernet frame. The main advantage of this is that real servers may be on a different network to the linux director. 11

12 Figure 5: LVS Tunnel Example Same Topology as the LVS Direct Routing Example Linux Director Enable IP forwarding. This can be done by adding the following to /etc/sysctl.conf and then running sysctl -p. net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1 Bring up on eth0:0. Again, this is best done as part of the networking configuration of your system. But it can also be done manually. ifconfig eth0: netmask broadcast Configure LVS ipvsadm -A -t :80 ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -i ipvsadm -a -t :80 -r :80 -i If you wish to use the linux director as a gateway router for the real servers, which is not necessary, please see information on how to patch the kernel to do this in the direct routing section. Real Servers Make sure return packets are not routed through linux director unless you have patched the kernel as described in the direct routing section. Make sure that the desired daemon is running on port 80 to accept connections from the end-users. Bring up on tunl0. Again, this is best done as part of the networking configuration of your system. But it can also be done manually. 12

13 ifconfig tunl netmask Enable forwarding and hide loopback. This can be done by adding lines to/etc/sysctl.conf and then running sysctl -p. net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1 # Enable configuration of hidden devices net.ipv4.conf.all.hidden = 1 # Make the tunl0 interface hidden net.ipv4.conf.tunl0.hidden = 1 Testing and Debugging Testing can be done by connecting to :80 from any network. Debugging is as per LVS direct routing. 2 High Availability LVS is an effective way to load balance networked services. Typically this means that several servers will act, as far as end-users are concerned, as if they were a single server. Unfortunately, the more servers that are in the system, the greater the chance that a single server will fail. Thus, it is important to make use of high availability techniques to ensure that the virtual service is maintained even if individual servers fail. Heartbeat Heartbeat be used to monitor a pair of linux directors and ensure that one of them owns the VIP at any given time. It works by each host periodically sending a heartbeat message. If no heartbeat message is received for a predetermined period of time then the host is considered to have failed. When this occurs resources can be taken over. Heartbeat has a modular design that allows arbitrary resources to be defined. For the sake of this discussion we will be using an IP address as a resource. When fail-over occurs the IP address is obtained using a method known as IP address take-over. This works by the newly activated linux director sending gratuitous ARP packets for the VIP. All hosts on the network should receive these ARP packets and thus send subsequent packets for the VIP to the new linux director. Heartbeat can be obtained from It can also be installed by using the packages provided or built from source using the following commands../configureme build make make install 13

14 Sample Configuration Figure 6: Heartbeat Example Configuration is done using three files that can be found in /etc/ha.d. ha.cf: This configures the base parameters for heartbeat such as which interfaces to use for communication, how often to send messages and where to write logs to. Note that the node names used must match the output of uname -n on the member nodes. logfacility local0 keepalive 2 deadtime 10 warntime 10 initdead 10 nice_failback on mcast eth node walter node wendy haresources: Sets the resources that are managed by heartbeat. walter /24/eth0 authkeys: Sets the security mechanism for inter-heartbeat communication. This file must be mode 600. auth 2 2 sha1 ultramonkey LVS should be configured the same way on both linux directors. For this example the LVS tunnel configuration discussed earlier will be used. Direct Routing and NAT may also be used. As the VIP, is managed by heartbeat it should not be brought up on the linux directors by other means. Heartbeat should be started on both linux directors. After a few moments the VIP should be brought up on whichever linux director is the master. 14

15 Testing and Debugging Reboot the active linux director and observe that the other linux director takes over. You can examine the progress of the take-over by examining the logs sent to syslog, typically found in /var/log/messages. As nice failback is on, the currently active linux director will now act as the master and when the failed linux director comes back online it will act as a standby. Ipfail The design of heartbeat is such that if any communication channel is available to a host, then it will be considered to be available. This is not always the desired behaviour. For example if a pair of hosts have links on the internal and external network, it may be desirable for fail-over to occur if either link fails on one host. After all it can no longer communicate route traffic between end users and the real servers. Figure 7: Heartbeat without IPfail The ipfail plug-in for heartbeat makes this possible by monitoring one or more external hosts known as a ping node. Typically this would be a router or the switch itself. The ping node is treated as a quorum device. That is, if a host cannot access a ping node, it is not eligible to hold any resources. Thus, if an interface fails on the active linux director, then one of the ping nodes should become unavailable and fail-over will occur. The ipfail module is shipped as part of heartbeat. Additional information is available from In the long term this will be integrated into the heartbeat documentation. 15

16 Figure 8: Heartbeat with IPfail Sample Configuration To use ipfail with the heartbeat setup discussed previously, the following should be added to heartbeat s ha.cf file. ping respawn hacluster /usr/lib/heartbeat/ipfail A ping directive should be added for each ping node. I have only defined one for the external network, as there are no suitable quorum devices on the internal network in this demonstration. The respawn directive tells heartbeat to run /usr/lib/heartbeat/ipfail as user hacluster. To rerun it if it exits with a status other than 100, and to kill it when heartbeat exits. After adding these options heartbeat needs to be restarted. /etc/init.d/heartbeat restart Testing and Debugging Testing and debugging can be done as per Heartbeat itself. 16

17 Ldirectord Heartbeat is used to monitor the health of linux directors. Ldirectord can be used to monitor the health of real servers and manipulates the LVS kernel table accordingly. Ldirectord and heartbeat are often used in tandem to create a high availability LVS cluster. Ldirectord checks services on the real servers by connecting to them, making a known request and checking the result for a known string. Checks are provided for HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, IMAP, POP, SMTP, LDAP and NNTP. Additional checks can be added by modifying the code, which is usually quite straight forward. In fact many of the checks incorporated by ldirectord have been supplied as patches by users. The check semantics above are known as a negotiate check. Another type of check, the connect check, simply checks to make sure a connection can be opened to the service on the real server. This is useful if there is not a check for the protocol supplied by ldirectord. Sample Configuration Ldirectord is configured using the ldirectord.cf file. It has global directives which either set global options, such as where to log errors to, or defaults for the virtual services. The virtual services encapsulate a virtual service provided by LVS. The virtual services contain the real servers which are checked. # Global Directives checktimeout=10 checkinterval=2 autoreload=no logfile="local0" quiescent=yes # Virtual Server for HTTP virtual= :80 fallback= :80 real= :80 masq real= :80 masq service=http request="index.html" receive="test Page" scheduler=rr protocol=tcp checktype=negotiate Ldirectord may be started by running the ldirectord command, the ldirectord init script or by adding it as a resource to heartbeat. There is no particular advantage to the latter as ldirectord can happily run on the master and stand-by linux directors at the same time. Once ldirectord has started the LVS kernel table will be populated. ipvsadm -L -n 17

18 IP Virtual Server version (size=4096) Prot LocalAddress:Port Scheduler Flags -> RemoteAddress:Port Forward Weight ActiveConn InActConn TCP :80 rr -> :80 Masq > :80 Masq > :80 Local By default ldirectord uses the quiescent feature of LVS to add and remove real servers. That is, when a real server is to be removed its weight is set to zero and it remains part of the virtual service. This has the effect that exiting connections to the real server may continue, but no new connections will be allocated. This is particularly useful for gracefully taking real servers offline. This behaviour can be changed to remove the real server from the virtual service by setting the global configuration option quiescent=no. Testing and Debugging Testing can be done by bringing the real servers up and down. By changing the contents of the known URL that is being requested such that it does not contain the expected string. By killing the daemon that serves end-users requests. Or by powering down the host all together. In each case ldirectord should update the LVS kernel table accordingly which can be examined using ipvsadm -L -n. Ldirectord also logs its activities, the configuration above sets these logs to be written to syslog, typically they will show up in /var/log/syslog. For extra debugging information ldirectord can be run in debugging mode, in which case it will log verbosely to the terminal and will not detach from the terminal. This is done by using the -d command line option. This example starts ldirectord in debugging mode with the configuration file ldirectord.cf, which should be in /etc/ha.d/. Debugging can be terminated using ctrl-c. ldirectord -d ldirectord.cf start Keepalived Keepalived provides an implementation of the VRRPv2 protocol which is specified in RFC 2338[1]. It is an alternative method of managing a VIP on a network so that it is owned by only one host at any given time. This can be used to switch between active and stand-by linux directors. VRRPv2 works on a simple state engine. Hosts advertise their availability. The highest priority host wins the resource and advertises this fact. All other nodes then go into the backup state. There is another implementation of VRRPv2 for Linux from jme/vrrpd/. However, at the time of writing the keepalived implementation appears to be much more complete. Keepalived also features service level monitoring of real servers and manipulates the LVS kernel table accordingly. The service tests that are implemented are: 18

19 TCP CHECK: Check to make sure a connection can be opened to the service on the real server. HTTP GET: Fetch a known URL from the real server and compare the checksum of the page to the expected checksum. SSL GET: SSL version of HTTP GET MISC CHECK: Check using an external script. It also provides an API to implement new checks. The VRRPD and LVS/Health-Check features can be used individually or in combination. Keepalived is available from keepalived.sourceforge.net. It compilation is quite straight forward using./configure and make. A.spec file for Red Hat is also provided. Packages for Debian are available in the main Debian tree. To configure keepalived /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf should be modified. This file is divided up into sections. global defs: Global definitions such as where to send alerts, if at all, and the name of the cluster. vrrp instance: Encapsulates a set of virtual IP addresses associated with a particular interface. Each instance should have a unique id. vrrp sync group: Groups together vrrp instances such that all the instances will be owned by a single host at any given time. This can be used to ensure that virtual IP addresses on different interfaces always end up on the same machine. virtual server: A virtual service handled by LVS. real server: A real server to check. Contained within a virtual server. Note that the VRRP implementation works on a master/slave system. So each vrrp instance should be marked as a MASTER on one node and a SLAVE on the other nodes. During testing, it did not appear possible to configure keepalived to have behaviour analogous to heartbeat s nice failback. That is a node will hold a resource until it fails, in which case another node will take it over until it in turn fails. It was also found that the slave nodes should be given a lower priority than the master to avoid spurious fail-overs. Sample Configuration For the sake of brevity, the example configuration files are in Appendix A. To create the checksums for the configuration file, the genhash programme can be used. Genhash will connect to the server and request the URL. It will then produce a lot of output, showing you how the data that is being used to construct the checksum. The final line is the checksum which should be included in keepalived.conf. For example, to generate the hash for the URL the following command is used. 19

20 genhash -s p 80 -u / [ lots of output omitted ] 90bfbce6bc089a41f1fddca9aeaba452 To start keepalived run the keepalived daemon or init script. Messages are logged to syslog and typically can be found in /var/log/message. After a few moments the LVS kernel table should be populated on both machines. This can be inspected using ipvsadm. ipvsadm -L -n IP Virtual Server version (size=4096) Prot LocalAddress:Port Scheduler Flags -> RemoteAddress:Port Forward Weight ActiveConn InActConn TCP :80 lc -> :80 Masq > :80 Masq On the master machine the virtual ip addresses should have been added. This can be checked using the ip command. ip addr sh [ lo: omitted ] 2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo\_fast qlen 100 link/ether 00:50:56:4f:30:19 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff inet /16 brd scope global eth0 inet /32 scope global eth0 3: eth1: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo\_fast qlen 100 link/ether 00:50:56:4f:30:1a brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff inet /24 brd scope global eth1 inet /32 scope global eth1 If a fail-over occurs the same addresses should appear on the slave, and then back on the master once it is restored. 3 New Developments Active Feedback Ldirectord, keepalived and other tools monitor the health of real servers. The weight parameter allows the relative capacity of real servers to be taken into account. However, these tools do not monitor the real-time serving capacity of the real servers and do not allocate connections proportional to this. This can be particularly problematic in situations where some connections require significantly more resources on a real server than others. For instance, if some connections are a plain HTML file fetched from disk, or more likely memory. While other connections involve processing of information, such a scaling an image or retrieving part of the page from a database. 20

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